Dan Savage Revolutionized Sex…

“Over the years, Savage honed his philosophy on boundaries—we should all be good, giving, and game for our partners, but we should also accept their hard limits as “the price of admission.” He built up an encyclopedic knowledge of kink and the mechanics of sex: the long-term effects of nipple clamps, how to stage an exciting bondage scene, what kind of butt plug to get when you’re first experimenting with anal penetration. (Not—and he cannot stress this enough—the small kind that looks like a finger, which will pop out of your butt at the least opportune moment.)

This staggering oeuvre, full of best practices and universal frameworks and detailed instructions, made Savage Love a beloved institution. It has also vexed Savage at times over the past decade, as the world he’s schooling changed with the #MeToo movement and the cultural evolution of the gay and trans communities. In recent years, it sometimes seemed like Savage was on the defensive as much as he was setting the rules. When I talked to him in Seattle, it was clear he felt that, too.”

-L.V. Anderson, “Dan Savage Revolutionized Sex. Then the Revolution Came for Him.” Slate. September 23, 2021.

If Dan Savage is on the defensive, who isn’t?

A Comment on Trans-Sexuality

When I was at university, I went to see Kiss of the Spider-Woman. I didn’t know anything about the film. It was just what happened to be playing when I stopped to check out what was playing at the university theater. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but there is a moment where a trans woman and a straight man have sex during the course of the film. And, the only reason why I remember it is because a man got up during the scene and yelled out, “Aww, hell no!” and then left the theater. I didn’t think much about it at the time, other than it seemed a bit of an over-reaction.

A decade or two later, I came across some story about the Church of Euthanasia that featured this image:

It’s hard to pin down exactly what is attractive about this woman. Perhaps I have a thing for trolls? In any event, I was definitely attracted.

Of course, this is Chris Korda, who I later learned was a transgender woman. It’s happened at least one other time where I was attracted to a transgender woman. I’ve had a similar attraction to a rare beautiful man.

As Kiss of the Spider Woman illustrates, everyone has edge cases where categories of hetero/homo/bi/a/sexuality break down in the face of lived, human experience. The lesson to take away is that love, in whatever form it takes, is always greater than our imaginations and our categories. This is what makes love such a great gift, and it is a shame that the limitations of these categories are so frequently sources of grief, self-loathing and negativity. Transexuality is an opportunity to transcend some limitations in how we think about ourselves, our sexuality and about life. Embrace it.